1 or more Hens Pecking out other Hens Eyes

twonicklefarms(7)January 28, 2010

HELP! I have at least 1 hen pecking the eyes of my other hens. I haven't been able to indetify the "Pecker" yet. I do know that she pecked one blind and I found that one dead in the bottom of the coop. The others did not eat the carcus. They have plenty of room in the coop and a larg run. Always have fresh water and food. Egg production is about 15 per day out of 26 hens (no roosters). I'm told thats pretty good for January cold in South Jersey. I don't want to have this continue so any advice would be appreciated.

Steve

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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

This is a bad time of year for boredom/overcrowding, and chickens develop bad habits like this.

Offer them other things to peck to keep the occupied: raw corn on the cob, a cabbage hung from a string (make sure they can't hang themselves or get tangled in the string)..anything that takes time to eat and it entertaining is all good. Live mealworms or crickets are very nutritious and chickens go nuts for them. The crickets are great because the chickens have to chase them.

I'd also take a chair and a book and just go SIT in the coop for a while to try and ID who is doing it, you may have to cull that bird.

Try to give the birds some free range time, offer them different things to eat, ask your market for bruised produce or slightly wilted greens that aren't nice enough for people, but your chickens will love, go out and interact with them, maybe turn over a few shovelfuls of dirt for them to scratch around in--break up their routine. Also make sure they are getting plenty of protein in their diet.

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   January 29, 2010 at 2:35PM
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